Not such a green a pleasant land

SUFFOLK'S green and pleasant land has been under attack for decades as the progress of the 20th and 21st centuries has changed the character of our county.

SUFFOLK'S green and pleasant land has been under attack for decades as the progress of the 20th and 21st centuries has changed the character of our county.

We've accepted the arrival of nuclear power stations built on our coast - they supply green energy to the whole region.

We've accepted the growth of Felixstowe Docks - it is a vital trading link between this country and the rest of the world.

We've accepted new roads changing the face of the countryside - even though the A14 and A12 are often inadequate to take the level of traffic generated by them.

And we've accepted the fact that the southern part of our county is increasingly being seen as a suburb of London with commuters leaving the area for jobs in the city every day.

However now we are being expected to accept a massive increase in the number of planes flying over our county.

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The number of planes flying to and from Stansted has already increased substantially with virtually no consultation.

Now there is the prospect of thousands more planes flying over this county at lower levels - increasing the noise and disruption for people living under the flightpath stretching from Constable Country to the Felixstowe peninsula.

Suffolk has had enough.

We have more than our share of flights and it is unacceptable that any further development should be allowed forcing more planes to disrupt our lives.

And the fact is the benefits we were promised when the expansion was first outlined simply have not happened - and there is no reason to think they will come if the airport expansion goes ahead.

There are not the inter continental flights heading all over the world.

You can't catch a flight from Stansted to Australia, South Africa, or Japan.

You can only fly to America if you are prepared to pay business or first-class fares to travel on niche operators to a select few cities.

The big boys of the air travel business - British Airways, Virgin, American Airlines - don't want to know about Stansted. They are only interested in Heathrow or large regional airports like Manchester or Glasgow.

And the budget carriers like RyanAir or EasyJet really don't have much to attract business users - they are creating and catering for a demand for cheap tourist flights to eastern and southern Europe.

They aren't so much bringing business into the region as taking tourists out of the country.

Stansted is there. It could still become the gateway to the world that the region was promised - but it doesn't need to grow any larger to fill that role.

It is quite large enough and for that reason, The Evening Star is adding its voice to the growing number of people and organisations calling for No More Stansted.

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